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Ballina Priory Church
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 54° 06' 45.06"   W 009° 09' 06.9"

Nearest town

Ballina

Grid Ref.

G 24681 18775

Map No.

24

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

9

Date of visit

Sunday 9 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The most interesting wall in the Ballina Priory is the west one.


The ruins of this church are situated in the centre of the town of Ballina, along the River Moy. It is possible that they go quite unnoticed to many. As a matter of fact, though we stopped in Ballina a few times before, we didn't know it was there.

The monastic settlement for the Eremites of the Order of St. Augustine was founded in the 14th century by the O'Dowds. According to a record, Muircearthach O'Dowd was buried here in 1402. The place is also known with the name of Ardnaree.
Though most of the monasteries were suppressed by King Henry VIII, it is possible that this priory continued to live till 1570's.

The church, which is aligned to the east-northeast (75°), is now in ruins and only the south wall and the west gable survive. The east wall, still retains traces of the large chancel window. The north wall is just a pile or rubble.
Looking at the remains of the church it is possible to appreciate how much the ground level has raised over the centuries. The windows sills are near to the ground and the west doorway is half buried.
This doorway is the most noticeable part of the building. It is a pointed arch doorway with concentric arches and two tall finials on its sides. Halfway from the ground, on both sides, there is a carved head. On the south side of the doorway there is a holy water font on the outside and one along the passage under the archway. Above the arched doorway there's a two-light window with ogee tops.
There's also a long south transept which had a large and tall window.


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